Voices on the left were furious when John McCain suggested that Republicans in the Senate would block any nominees by Hillary Clinton if she becomes President. He walked back that particular talking point very quickly because he’s John McCain.

According to The New American:

To no one’s surprise, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) quickly backtracked on a bold statement a few days ago, when he said, “I promise you that we will, we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton — if she were president — would put up. This is why we need a majority.” […]

But before pleasantly surprised constitutional conservatives could even raise their hand to pat McCain on the back, he quickly changed his tune, speaking through a spokesperson, Rachael Dean. She “clarified” McCain’s earlier remarks by saying that McCain “believes you can only judge people by their record,” pointing to Clinton’s “clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees.”

Now, we’re hearing a little bit of the same from Ted Cruz.

Before anyone starts searching their copy of the Constitution or checking Wikipedia for precedents, I’ll save you the trouble. Nine is not a magic number. It’s been the number for a century and a half, but there’s nothing that declares it needs to be the number. Moreover, there’s nothing that can compel the senate to confirm a nominee or even hold confirmation hearings. The powers laid out dictate that a Supreme Court justice can only be appointed by a President and can only be confirmed by the Senate. It does not dictate that the President must appoint, nor does it dictate that the Senate must confirm.

Here’s the real point, though. Eight is plenty. In fact, it may just be perfect. For the Supreme Court to take action, there needs to be a clear mandate. That’s an opinion, but it’s one that should make sense to any Constitutional conservative. With nine (or any odd number of) justices, actions for or against a ruling are essentially mandated automatically. That’s not how it should be. With eight, particularly if the justices are split between “conservative” and “liberal” ideologies, a true mandate would require that at least one justice changes sides.

What progressives will say is that keeping a split judicial branch of government impedes progress. The clear error in this thinking is in assuming that the Supreme Court has anything to do with progress. They don’t. That’s for the other two branches. The Supreme Court is there to prevent unconstitutional progress which, in our day and age, seems to be the majority of ideas proposed.

If we keep it at eight, it’s not the better or worse case that wins. Decisions won’t be based upon political leanings. The court can operate in a way that is much more pure. If a case is clearly won or lost, the Supreme Court will act because at least one justice should be willing to switch sides. That’s the burden that I believe is necessary for them to act. When it’s based upon a majority split along ideological lines, we get the debacles we’ve seen in the past few decades where the Supreme Court’s actions yielded failures on both sides of the political spectrum.

Keep it at eight. Not just now. Always. If the Supreme Court must act, it will be because the case was clear, not just because one side was a little better than the other or one based upon political lines.


Robin of Locksley: Touch him with that [blinding iron] and you’ll get an arrow through your throat
2nd Royal forester: You’re a bold fellow aren’t you?
3rd Royal forester: Think you can kill all three of us?
Robin of Locksley: If I have to. [throws a load of bread in the air & hits it with an arrow] Now untie him, and then leave.
1st Royal forester: Well our Duty doesn’t include getting ourselves killed, you can have him, for now.

The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Coming of Robin Hood 1955

Yesterday I asked some difficult questions concerning a Hillary presidency and then updated it linking to post by Scott Adams that said in part

As far as I can tell, the worst thing a presidential candidate can do is turn Americans against each other. Clinton is doing that, intentionally.


As I often say, I don’t know who has the best policies. I don’t know the best way to fight ISIS and I don’t know how to fix healthcare or trade deals. I don’t know which tax policies are best to lift the economy. I don’t know the best way to handle any of that stuff. (And neither do you.) But I do have a bad reaction to bullies. And I’ve reached my limit.

I hope you have too.

I learned about bullies very young thanks to my brother Dominic.

It was the 60’s at St. Anthony’s school and there was a bully who had been picking on the other kids horribly but when he decided to pick on my brother Dominic he, showing the attitude and fearlessness that he would hold for his entire life, fought rather than knuckle under.

Dominic wasn’t particularly big or strong, he was nothing special and the Bully beat him up pretty bad…

…but Dominic gave as good as he got and while he lost the fight the bully was in such bad shape that not only did he stay away from Dominic who seemed completely indifferent to pain, but didn’t pick on the other kids in school from that point on. It was the ultimate Rocky 2 moment

What did that teach me? It taught me that you have to stand up for what’s right, that the best way to stop a bully or a thief or someone looking to intimidate you is to make sure that the cost for sai bully is more than they’re willing to pay.

Yesterday I wondered aloud if conservatives are oppressed by a Hillary Clinton administration how would submitting be better than resisting? I’m very curious as to my brother Dominic’s opinion on the matter.

Incidentally Dominic never changed. From that day to his retirement last year nobody ever messed with him again, not during school, not at his job, not anywhere. He’s enjoying a quiet life with his family but even in the tough neighborhood where he lives, a neighborhood that most of the other Sicilians left long ago, nobody messes with him, the price for doing so is too high.

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